Domestic and Foreign Market Access

Overview: Trade Policy and Business Environment

Burkina Faso is classified as a low-income country as well as a Least Developed Country (LDC). The country was ranked 133rd out of 138 countries in the latest World Economic Forum’s Enabling Trade Index (2014), which measures institutions, policies and services to facilitate the trade in countries. Burkina Faso relies heavily on cotton and gold exports for revenue. Despite its recent fast growth rate, the economy is vulnerable due to the volatile nature of international price for commodity. Approximately 90 percent of the population lives on subsistence agriculture. Around 65.8% of population live in poverty, whereas inequality and social exclusion are prevailing. Currently, Burkina Faso is facing the challenges of corruption, poor infrastructure, turmoil in neighbouring countries, etc. It is important for the country to diversify its commodity portfolio and lower its dependence on donors and natural resources.

Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2014, Burkina Faso Country Report

Domestic Market Access The pillar assesses the level and complexity of a country’s tariff protection as a result of its trade policy. This component includes the effective trade-weighted average tariff applied by a country, the share of goods imported duty free and the complexity of the tariff regime, measured through tariff variance, the prevalence of tariff peaks and specific tariffs, and the number of distinct tariffs. 110 3.85
Foreign Market Access The pillar assesses tariff barriers faced by a country’s exporters in destination markets. It includes the average tariffs faced by the country as well as the margin of preference in destination markets negotiated through bilateral or regional trade agreements or granted in the form of trade preferences. 81 2.28
Tariff rate (%) This indicator is calculated as a trade-weighted average of all the applied tariff rates, including preferential rates that a country applies to the rest of the world. The weights are the trade patterns of the importing country’s reference group (2012 data). An applied tariff is a customs duty that is levied on imports of merchandise goods. 110 10.81
Complexity of tariffs , index 1-7 (best) This indicator is calculated as the average of the following indicators: Tariff dispersion, Specific tariffs and Number of distinct tariffs. See description of each individual indicator for more details. Prior to averaging, values for each indicator were transformed to a 1–7 score, using the min-max method. 6 6.70
Tariffs dispersion (standard deviation) This indicator reflects differences in tariffs across product categories in a country’s tariff structure. The variance is calculated across all the tariffs on imported merchandise goods, at the 6-digit level of the Harmonized Schedule. 26 6.83
Tariffs peaks (%) This indicator is the ratio of the number of tariff lines exceeding three times the average domestic tariff (across all products) to the MFN (most-favoured nation) tariff schedule. The tariff schedule is equal to the total number of tariff lines for each country. These tariffs are revised on a yearly basis. 1 0.00
Specific tariffs (%) This indicator is the ratio of the number of Harmonized System (HS) tariff lines, with at least one specific tariff, to the total number of HS tariff lines. A specific tariff is a tariff rate charged on fixed amount per quantity (as opposed to ad valorem) 1 0.00
Number of distinct tariffs This indicator reflects the number of distinct tariff rates applied by a country to its imports across all sectors. 5 4.00
Share of duty-free imports (%) Share of trade, excluding petroleum, that is imported free of tariff duties, taking into account MFN tariffs and preferential agreements. Tariff data is from 2013 or most recent year available and imports data is from 2012 115 19.33
Tariffs faced (%) This indicator is calculated as the trade-weighted average of the applied tariff rates, including preferential rates that the rest of the world applies to each country. The weights are the trade patterns of the importing country’s reference group (2012 data). A tariff is a customs duty that is levied by the destination country on imports of merchandise goods 48 5.31
Index of margin of preference in destination markets, 0-100 (best) This indicator measures the percentage by which particular imports from one country are subject to lower tariffs than the MFN rate. It is calculated as the average of two components: 1) the trade-weighted average difference between the MFN tariff and the most advantageous preferential duty (advantage score), and 2) the ratio of the advantage score to the trade-weighted average MFN tariff level. This allows capturing both the absolute and the relative margin of preference. 88 14.76

Trade Policy and Market Access

Burkina Faso has been a member of WTO since 1995. Burkina Faso’s average MFN applied tariff in 2012 was 11.9 per cent. Agricultural exports into the country face higher barriers (14.6 per cent) compared to non-agricultural exports (11.5 per cent). Burkina Faso has not concluded any plurilateral agreements under the aegis of the WTO, yet its participation in WTO is largely limited due to lack of capability and resources. At regional level, Burkina Faso is an active member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), both of which are aimed to establish free movement of goods. One of its objectives is to promote trade within the WAEMU community by exempting certain import requirements for products of WAEMU origins. Half of the total trading value of Burkina Faso is conducted in an intra- community manner, and the government prioritizes export in sectors of cotton; livestock, meat, and hides and skins; shea nuts, sesame and mangoes; arts and crafts; and tourism. Moreover, being WAEMU member state, Burkina Faso has been applying the common external tariff (CET) since 2000, however a harmonizing framework for tariff bindings at community level is still in the preparatory phase. Burkina Faso is eligible for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) program established by the US, and is currently negotiating for an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU under the framework of ECOWAS and WAEMU.

WTO, 2010, Trade Policy Review (Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali – Burkina Faso)

Standard Compliance and Other Relevant Import/Export Restrictions

Considering its compliance with Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, Burkina Faso participate in the standard-setting organizations of Codex Alimentarius Commission, the World Organization for Animal Health and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). The Directorate of Plant Protection and Market Preparation (DPVC), within the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries (MAHRH), is responsible for phytosanitary safety and serves as the national enquiry point for the SPS Agreement. In recent years, the Government received technical and/or financial assistance to enhance the country’s SPS-related capacity from various donors. With regards to the technical barrier to trade (TBT) issue, the Standardization and Quality Promotion Bureau (FASONORM) is the national enquiry point on TBT and is working on standardization, quality, certification etc. So far, Burkina Faso has not issued any SPS or TBT notifications to the WTO.

WTO, 2010, Trade Policy Review (Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali – Burkina Faso)